I Hate It When He Makes Me Cry

Last year on Valentine’s Day, I gave my dad a card with this picture and caption on the front:

Me & my Daddy

A girl never forgets her first Valentine.

This picture wasn’t actually taken on Valentine’s day. It was taken on the night of my first dance recital, which is why I’m wearing make up. My mother didn’t generally let her six-year old run around looking like a two-bit hooker.

Just on special occasions.

I thought I’d clarify because these days you never can tell. I’ve seen some of the outfits in the girls’ section at Target.

The point is, the picture fit the sentiment of the card really well, so I used it. My dad has always been my hero.

Have you ever seen the movie Life is Beautiful? It’s about a father who takes elaborate measures to make his son think the Nazi prison camp they’ve been sent to is a big game. He does this to protect his son from fear and from feelings of inferiority.

That is what my father has done for me in respect to Parkinson’s disease. He was diagnosed at 35-years old. He’s 67 now and in all of that time I have heard him utter very few complaints, but many, many jokes – often at his own expense. He’s kept us laughing, even as his mobility, his independence and now his mind has deteriorated. At this point, the drugs he takes to improve his quality of life are as much hindrances as they are help.

He is sleepy, confused and forgetful. Sometimes he hallucinates. This intelligent, educated, well-read man often has trouble understanding simple directions. Sometimes I lose patience with him, but I don’t mean to.

This year, for Valentine’s day, my daddy gave this to me.

Valentine's box

And inside was this.

flower pendant

If daughters were flowers…

back of pendant

…he’d still pick me.

He picked that necklace out on his own. It’s beautiful and in perfect accordance with my taste – simple yet elegant. But what really got me was the card that went with it.

Valentine's card

I could tell he was sleepy when he was signing it because he signed the outside.

inside the card

I almost started bawling when I saw this.

Even through his haze, he still managed to get the Love out. Just like he always has.

And so, even though we’ve had a rough road, I’d still pick him, too.

the pendant

In a second.

I love you, Daddy.

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10 responses to “I Hate It When He Makes Me Cry

  1. What a sweet gift with so much love and meaning behind it. It’s beautiful.

  2. And now I have tears in my eyes. Beautiful, just beautiful.

  3. You are so lucky to still have your dad. I lost my 25 years ago. What I would give to hear the old jokes one more time. Cherish these times. You are very fortunate.

  4. I rarely tear up at blog posts but this one definitely made me cry a bit. My sisters and I are very close to my dad, the person who basically raised us single-handedly. He means the world to me and I really should tell him that more often. Thank you for this.

  5. What a beautiful post. I’m tearing up now… your dad sounds like a very special man.

  6. Aw, wow! That almost had me bawling too. How adorable. Thanks for sharing your Valentine with us :)

  7. What a beautiful post, I’m tearing up! Your dad sounds like a very wonderful man you two are lucky to have each other. Thanks for sharing your Valentine with us.

  8. Oh Lord, you made me cry. That is one of my favorite movies. Your Dad sounds like a wonderful man and I only wish I still had my Daddy around. You’re very blessed. And that is such a sweet necklace!

  9. Oh, man. Oh, man.

    Your dad’s heart and his love for you – they’re so beautiful. You are both so very lucky. Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

  10. You have me tearing up over here. This whole post is so sweet!

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